This is the next post in my series on the handling of slip and fall cases in Atlanta, Georgia. My last article provided an overview of topics which this series will be addressing. It also stressed the need to contact an experienced personal injury attorney if you or a loved one have been injured. It is important that you contact counsel sooner, rather than later, so that important evidence is properly preserved. In this article I will discuss another topic which may cause confusion – how comparative fault impacts such matters. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a lawyer.
I have previously discussed how comparative fault impacts Atlanta car accident cases. These same concepts also apply to a slip and fall case. Under Georgia law, a victim may recover damages even if they were partially at fault for the accident. The victim’s monetary compensation will be reduced in proportion to the extent for which they are considered to be at fault. If, however, a victim is found to be at least fifty percent responsible for the accident then they will be prohibited from receiving any compensation. The extent to which a victim is considered to be at fault for an incident will be decided by the jury.
The foregoing concepts are best explained by way of example. Say a grocery store has a policy requiring that the aisles be checked from tripping hazards, and swept, every hour. Now suppose that liquid spills in an aisle and management is immediately notified by a patron. Finally suppose, that management ignores the warning and, also, the person in charge of cleaning the aisles is derelict in their duties. As a result, the liquid remains in the aisle for several hours. Now suppose that, several hours after the liquid spill, a patron is walking down the aisle and is paying attention to their phone, as opposed to where they are walking. They slip in the puddle and injure themselves. Under this scenario, the patron is likely negligent given that they were not paying attention to where they were walking. It is possible, however, that the jury will find that the store bears a greater share of the blame given that it was negligent in multiple ways. If the jury finds that the victim suffered $50,000 in damages, and was twenty percent responsible for the incident, then the victim would receive $40,000 ($50,000 – twenty percent). How the jury will rule in any given situation, however, is always going to depend on the specific facts of the case. It is, therefore, best to discuss your situation with an attorney.
If you or a loved one have been injured while on another’s property, then contact my office to speak with an Atlanta slip and fall lawyer. My office prides itself on providing the highest levels of service and we are ready to assist you. We also service the Fulton County cities of Sandy Springs, Roswell, Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Milton, and East Point, the DeKalb County cities of Dunwoody, Decatur, Brookhaven, Redan, and, the Cobb County cities of Marietta, Smyrna, Mableton, and Kennesaw, the Fayette County cities of Fayetteville and Peachtree, the Hall County city of Gainesville, as well as other areas throughout the state of Georgia.